Engineering Career Exploration: Environmental and Ecological Engineering
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Engineering Career Exploration: Environmental and Ecological Engineering

Environmental and Ecological Engineering,
or as we like to say “Triple E,” is where passion for the environment meets Purdue Engineering. Environmental and Ecological engineers use
the principles of systems engineering, biology, and chemistry to develop strategies to protect
human and environmental health, and design sustainable systems and technologies. Our unique name, Environmental and Ecological
Engineering, was chosen to highlight our approach to managing complex problems with an integrated
perspective that considers both environmental issues and ecological interactions. Our students are committed to the pursuit
of their engineering education so they can make a positive impact on the world we live
in. EEE not only addresses today’s environmental
challenges but seeks to manage the emerging issues that could otherwise be harmful to
our environment and ecosystems that will support future generations. The EEE curriculum trains engineers to apply
their technical understanding of science and systems engineering to develop strategies
to protect human and environmental health and to improve the environmental life-cycle
of products and processes. In the undergraduate curriculum there is an
early focus on systems thinking and systems understanding with the inclusion of significant
course requirements in ecology, sustainability, and industrial ecology. Unlike many degree programs, the EEE curriculum
is designed to maximize flexibility so each student can have an individualized plan of
study tailored to their career interests. This is just one benefit of being in a small
program at a large university. The close community of EEE allows students
to easily network with faculty and other students. For example, each EEE student works with an
EEE Faculty Mentor to discuss career paths and gain insight on how to incorporate meaningful
extracurricular activities into their Purdue experience. Decisions made in this setting are then used
by the EEE advisor to guide students to appropriate choices that keeps them on track to graduation. In the EEE Senior Design Class, students are
paired with real clients to find solutions to real environmental issues being encountered
by the organization. Projects include collaborations with manufacturing
firms, environmental engineering consultants, municipal governments and non-profit organizations. One of our innovative offerings is the EEE
Combined Degree Program that allows a student to receive a Bachelors of Science degree and
a Master’s of Science in Environmental and Ecological Engineering with only one additional
year of study. EEE also offers a minor in Environmental and
Ecological Engineering that is open to all students. EEE students don’t just attend class, they
get hands on experiences in the local community and beyond. Whether it’s collaboratively designing and
implementing rain gardens and native savannas with community partners, or taking advantage
of a study abroad opportunity – as a EEE student you would gain meaningful experiences
while making a positive impact on the world. For the past several years, the U.S. News
and World Report ranked environmental engineers in their top 10 Best Engineering Jobs. Based upon salary, job availability, advancement
opportunities and career fulfillment, Environmental and Ecological Engineering is a strategic
choice for any aspiring engineer. Research shows that many students are interested
in engineering that can make a difference for people — environmental engineering has
a clear impact on societies and quality of life. About half of Environmental Engineering students
nationwide are women and that number is even higher at Purdue, where EEE has the highest
proportion of women of all undergraduate engineering programs. Common career pathways include classic environmental
engineering in water and watershed stewardship, pollution control and remediation, and emerging
career opportunities in green infrastructure and industrial sustainability. As an environmental engineer, you can be well-positioned
for life-long success as a sustainability engineer for a company, an environmental,
health, and safety professional at a manufacturing facility, a regulator for a governmental agency,
an environmental consultant, or work with a nonprofit agency. The discipline of Environmental Engineering
is a noble pursuit. Its enduring work will pave the way to a sustainable
future – on a global scale. In EEE, we believe that every person born
into this world should enjoy an environment they can thrive in. Join us in transforming the future and changing
the world.

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